The Dreadable Lurgy

Mrs Widds went out into the world last Tuesday. Wearing a mask at all times, and practicing physical distancing at all times. She had a lovely time, purchased some needed groceries, hit the thrift stores, and scored some excellent loot. All-in-all, a successful expedition.

Two days later – I felt a bit seedy, and Mrs Widds, after putting in an adrenaline-fueled day, succumbed to the lure of a comfy hot-water-bottle-warmed bed.

Two days later – I feel like death warmed up, and … (have you ever thought about that expression, ‘death-warmed-up’? You have to wonder what a warm death feels like. Squishy? A bit smelly, depending on the ambient temperature? … I think I’m going to rephrase …)

Two days later – I don’t feel very well at all. Mrs Widds isn’t much better, and we both of have the energy levels of snails on valium. Which presents us with an interesting challenge. We’re running out of ‘slow days’ in which to lollygag around in our jammies, feel poorly, and not work on our lists of ‘things to do before we move’.

Notice I said ‘lists’. As in ‘multiples of’.

Nevertheless, lurgy-ified or not, we manage to take care of at least one thing on each list each day. As the saying goes, ‘do not fear going slowly, fear standing still’. … which, of course excludes laying down and moaning and groaning.

Do we have the Lurgy? The timing is about right, but then it’s right for so many other lurgys out there. We’re not going anywhere near any other humans to get tested, so in the absence of any hard evidence we’re going to go with a solid ‘maybe’.

By the time we do need to go out into the world again, we will have been isolated for the required amount of days (plus a few extra) anyway.

We’re taking care of each other, and reminding each other that we built ‘slow days’, into our timetable for this very reason. Well, not this exact reason. This reason sucks. We were thinking more along the lines of ‘let’s take the day off and have a sushi picnic by the river’, or some such civilised reasoning.

I do however, see a sushi picnic in our near future. We would’ve earned it.

P.S. Rather fond of my hot water bottles, I am. You might’ve noticed that. 🙂

Halcyon Blue Skies And Solar Panel Musings

I don’t know how its been in your neck of the woods but the weather around here has been bloody awful of late. It’s either warmish, (a relative term given that we’re still in the midst of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere) and pouring with rain, (everything turns to mud) or freezing (quite literally) cold, with the wind blowing a hoolie, and clear-ish skies.

Today’s sky was full of gorgeous blueness from horizon to horizon with nary a puff of cloud to be seen, so out into the back yard we trotted to set up one end of our solar system to make sure all the shiny new bits and pieces connected to each other where they ought to be connected.

We’ll do a trial run of the whole system, with the inverter and batteries, etc, on the next (warmer) sunny day that might choose to grace these Western Shores.

To be thusly energy self-sufficient (and self-contained, along with our little back-up generator) is a large step forward on our Wunder-Lusters journey. We can’t (none of us can) afford to rely on any existing infrastructure to be available where and when we need it.

… 7.30pm. (5 hours later) …

… I’m now writing by lights connected to our system of loooong extension cords connected to our generator, because it’s freezing cold, the night sky’s as clear as a bell, gale-force winds are whistling through the eaves, which knocked out the electricity two hours ago – and counting …

… don’t’cha just love serendipity! …

… no internet wi-fi or cellphone hotspots either. The wind must’ve taken out the cellphone tower …

I don’t mind being disconnected from the world, but I’d like it to be on my terms, thank you very much.

8.30pm:

Perhaps I ought to think about sacrificing a virgin, with appropriate lustrations, to the ethers …

… couldn’t find enough virgins, or lustrations …

9.30pm:

Eureka! Lo, and Behold, Light hath returned!

Now, where was I?

(** goes forth to take care of all the things that have been put on hold for the last four hours**)

… Right, I’m back … but it’s still too damn cold. (one tiny space heater does not a whole house heat) It’s hot water-bottles for me, and a nightcap, (tea, of course, what did you think I meant, hmm?) in bed.

My cuppa and I, wish you all goodnight.

Smashwords and D2D Merger

Important news for indie writers. An email just arrived in my inbox, from one Mark Coker, the CEO of Smashwords, saying that the two publishing platforms have decided to merge, and it’s all set to be concluded on or about the 1st of March.

D2D’s YouTube channel is hosting a live Q&A tomorrow (Wednesday) at midday (Mountain Time) with Mark Coker and Kris Austin. (D2D’s CEO)

I plan to be there with my ‘The Wunder-Lusters’, hat on – mostly because that’s the name of our YouTube channel.

Here’s the LINK to the Q&A. Or just do a search on YouTube.

My feeling is this is going to be great for authors who publish on either/both platforms … the best of both worlds. Of course there’ll be chaos and grumbles and pouting though, that’s what humans do.

We’re Going On An Adventure – A Wunder-Lusters 2022 Update

 

… the story so far … from the before-times … (for the wonderful new people here, and those who would like a bit of a refresher)

We’ve always been aware that time here on our island in the middle of a lake was a temporary situation. (notwithstanding that we’ve been here nigh on ten years – which we’re going to blame on cancer, Covid, and just a dash of run-of-the-mill goal-post changing)

Our original plan, which had its genesis way back in 2018-ish, was to set off in our little travel-trailer, swan around the countryside from coast to coast to coast and see what we might see. (Canada having three coasts of course, the western one, where we live, the eastern one where the Vikings landed, and the northern one, up above the Arctic Circle, that I am determined to visit, one day) We were in no great rush to set off, and if we eventually found a place to settle down somewhere along the way, all the better.

The pandemic put paid to that.

For the first year we resigned ourselves to a holding pattern. There were too many potentially dangerous unknowns specifically about the virus, to say nothing of province-wide shut-downs across the country, and far too many people acting like terrified rabbits, for us to go against our common sense in the matter.

In the first half of 2021 I wrote a book. (the sales of which are pootling along nicely) It was, sad to say, the highlight of the year.

The climate crisis, which had been lurking around the corner and growing ever closer, proved that it was done waiting by throwing every sort of weather extreme in our general direction. (and in yours too, I have no doubt)

Add into the mix two more variants of the virus, and we decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and stayed put.

However, every one of those very crises reminded us, each in its own unique way, that we are in a very precarious and unsustainable geographical location here on the coast.

We gave ourselves permission to be as stressed out about the whole damn state of everything for as long as we needed to, and then we would get back to work.

Our plan, now that we successfully made it to 2022 …

Pack up and leave as soon as the passes to the Interior are clear and navigable – thanks to one of the afore-mentioned weather events just before Christmas, every road and rail route out of the Lower Mainland (where we currently live) had been destroyed – and before the Summer (read Spring or whenever) wildfire season kicks in to high gear.

Theoretically … that gives us a window of a few months … theoretically, to relocate, find ourselves a new home, get all our living-in-a-house stuff out of storage, and set ourselves set up for Winter.

Then and only then will we contemplate the possibilities of travelling, probably in the ‘shoulder seasons’ between Winter and Summer.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, seeing as we’re not going ‘travelling’ first, why we don’t just find a place before we leave and move from one house to another house?

Ideally, this will be the last ‘move into a new home’ we will ever do, (remember, I’m 63 and Mrs Widds is 72) and it will have to meet our requirements for setting up our life to be as self-sustaining, for the next several, at least, very chaotic, decades, as we can possibly make it. There’s no way we can make that sort of complex and important decision on a piece of land/property, sight unseen.

This way we’re open to all sorts of windows of possibilities.

The truly wonderful (insert a tiny bit of irony right there) thing about all this is, in the ‘before times’ we would’ve known what to expect along the way, with minor perturbations, but all-in-all, we would’ve been able to count on a certain amount of familiarity.

There’s no counting on that any more now, is there?

Well, if going on an adventure were easy, everyone would do it!

2022 Here We Come!

I’m back in the swing of it all, with my shiny new, curved, 32″ monitor.

These things have to be seen in action to be believed. The actual curve of the monitor took some getting used to, just because it’s visually unfamiliar, but once I did .. wow!

What a difference it makes to the far left and right of any images/print/video I’m looking at. I don’t have anywhere near the same feeling of eyestrain that I did with my flat screen … and this thing is 12cm (5″ bigger!)… sheer decadent indulgence, for the price of an average indulgence … I’m a happy camper!

This picture really doesn't do it justice, but you get the, ahem, picture. :)

This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but you get the, ahem, picture. 🙂

I still haven’t been able to find an adaptor for my old monitor at a price I’m prepared to pay, to even be able to find out whether the problem was with the adaptor or the monitor. So, for now Old Faithful is back in her box, and off to the storage unit she will go.

I had wanted to do a couple of posts videos and pictures about the wave after wave, after wave, of snowstorms followed by rain/ice storms we’ve had recently, but it seems that the modern world refuses to even to speak to my old computer which runs on Windows 7 … c’est la vie.

So I decided I’d just post a few of my favourite photos from the bunch of ’em … and unless something impressive happens, I’ll keep the rain/snow/mud slushiness currently surrounding us to meself.

I hope 2022 has been kind to you thus far, but I also hope you’ve got your seatbelt fastened … just in case.

Mrs Widds Vs the mountain

Mrs Widds Vs the mountain

-15C, not counting the wind-chill, and I'm  widds-cicle

-15C, not counting the wind-chill, and I’m widds-cicle  

Ice-crystals on the INSIDE of the window

Ice-crystals on the INSIDE of the window

45 cm of snow, and our poor long-suffering pontoon is iced in

45 cm of snow, and our poor long-suffering pontoon is iced in

The other end of the lake - through the truck window

The other end of the lake – through the truck window

Ice floes on the Fraser River

Ice floes on the Fraser River

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately.

On the 30th of December, last year, (isn’t it wonderful that 2021 is now ‘last year’?)  my computer monitor stopped working.

It’s either the monitor, or the adapter. Parts have yet to arrive to tell which is which – stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

I’ve been barely online using my old faithful hard drive, which thankfully I kept as a back-up, and using it to check my WordPress dashboard once a day.

So yeah, it’s not you, it’s me.

Also, at the end of they year I had a bit of a meltdown.

I was dealing with the multiple environmental disasters fairly well, I thought. But it seemed like I never had enough time to catch my breath at the end of one before the next one struck.

We live in an old house, and stuff keeps on breaking down. Stuff broke down, in the middle of an arctic outflow, with daytime temperatures in the double digits below freezing. (we now have our very own electrician on speed-dial)

Some health stuff happened too. The concussion … aren’t they fun? .. I didn’t have time to catch my breath there either.

… and then … and then … you get the picture.

I kept saying I wanted a break, for the world to stop for a while. You know that feeling, where you just want to get off for a while?

I cried a lot. A lot … and then my monitor stopped working. It wasn’t the break I wanted but it was the break I got.

Yeah, not you, me.

I sleep late, and go through my day slowly, sometimes staring out the window at the snow, watching the raccoon yearlings and their mum bound through it like its their own personal playground, which, of course, it is.

I can feel my energy returning as the days slowly, almost imperceptibly at this time of year, get longer.

2022 is going to be momentous. I’ll be ready.

A Last ‘Fuck You’, From 2021: Bon Voyage, Betty White

It would’ve been her 100th Birth Day on the 17th of January 2022. She was going to have a giant party. We were all invited, screened live, and everything. Now it will be a wake.

Fare the well bold Voyager, wherever you roam next. May you leave them rolling in the isles, and begging for more.

Winter Solstice – Snow And Ice

First came the snow …

Then the sun came out and the snow turned to  …

Slushies!

Slushies!

Then the ice rain …

Eerie coating on the jasmine vines

Eerie coating on the jasmine vines

Mother Nature in Her very best ‘deep midwinter’, mode …

Icicles in the night

Icicles in the night

Now, the days grow longer, and although our troubled world continues to struggle on under the weight of almost insurmountable challenges, this window of time, between the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one, always seems to be full of … possibilities.

May you find your possibilities. May you find your Path, and may there be beloved others who will choose to walk with you on it.

Blessed Be.

We’ve Been Here Before

Calamitous events of recent times, both near and far, have given me pause in these latter days of 2021. They might have for you too.

I find myself feeling a deep knowing, as though it comes from far enough within me that it might even be reflected on my DNA. It has certainly reflected on my Spirit.

The civilisations that have grown and thrived all over our world since the Industrial Revolution, are now seeing their Days of Autumn slide into Winter’s embrace.

It is the way of all living things, this birth, growth, decay and death. And are not our civilisations living, breathing entities as well? The Macro reflecting the Micro?

Our species has been here many, many times before. More times than even the most ardent of archeologists can only find mere remnants of.

The great city-states of Mesopotamia, Central America, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, all rose to great heights, and all, finally, fell into ruin. It is only hubris that leads us to believe we will end differently.

Perhaps because our world actually does encompass the entire world, and not the ‘known’ world of those times, we have been provided with a unique time-scale.

Will we collapse on the swords of this mess we’ve created and leave our descendants to scrabble among the ruins of their forbears?

It’s happened before.

Or will we reach the stars, whether they be metaphorical or literal?

And has that happened before too?

-oOo-

I found inspiration for this post in the series, ‘Fall Of Civilizations’, on YouTube. It’s well worth a look.

 

The Strangeness Of Normal

Our Evac Alert has finally been lifted, and our main access road into town is once again open for business.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t still detours everywhere, and mud and debris from the floods and landslides, and broken bits of people’s livelihoods and possessions, to be sorted and scoured, but for the first time in well over two weeks we were able to leave our little island and see the state of things beyond our truncated horizon.

Apart from the lake still being about a meter above its usual level for this time of the year, and a few pools of water sporting the stubble after the corn harvest and an assortment of ducks that haven’t flown south, (those sorts of mass migrations have been breaking up for a few years now, so it’s no surprise really, that they’re still here) everything looked the same, looked like a normal early winter farmland landscape … on the surface.

If we lived in the Sumas Prairie, parts of which are still under significant amounts of water, our view would’ve been devastatingly different.

With the benefit of hindsight it was far too soon for my poor concussed brain to be exposed to the multiple onslaught of sensory information, movement, (driving) people, (we went shopping to re-stock our perishables) and noise. (created by all of the above)

However, the multitudinous events of the last five years or so, (and especially the last two) have irrevocably altered my world-view (yours too probably) as the calamities occurred closer and closer to home until this last one quite literally appeared on our doorstep.

And although everything appeared normal as while we drove the familiar roads, the strangeness I felt (apart from the concussion bits) was a sense of relief that the world (beyond the bridge that links us to the mainland) hadn’t collapsed, mixed with the knowledge that those afore mentioned calamities are still out there, still evolving, still challenging me to step through each day of my life with my eyes open.

Strange days indeed.